Day Trip: La Chaux-De-Fonds, Switzerland Featured

Discover watchmaking heritage in the Jura mountains on a day trip to La Chaux-de-Fonds.

by Diccon Bewes

 The City

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If there is one place in Switzerland that is synonymous with watchmaking then it is La Chaux-de-Fonds, high up in Jura mountains of Canton Neuchâtel. This is a city built for watchmakers, or at least rebuilt for them. After a disastrous fire in 1794 the whole place was redesigned with its primary industry in mind, using a grid plan of wide streets and sunlit studios to accommodate the fiddly work. The city itself is now a Unesco heritage site thanks to this unique example of town planning.

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The Sight

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You can’t come to La Chaux-de-Fonds without seeing some watches, and there’s no better place for that than the International Museum of Horology. It’s a fascinating collection of timepieces, from the earliest watches and delicate objets d’art through to modern pieces and the grandest of grandfather clocks. The hushed air inside the museum is broken only by the hypnotic ticking and chiming in every room.

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The Restaurant

 Carte Printemps Spring menu Suisse Michelin star restaurant

This hotel’s ultra-modern exterior certainly makes a striking first impression and even if it’s not to everyone’s taste then the food certainly will be. The whole place is a family affair, with Stéphan Vogt in charge in the kitchen, where he oversees a menu that changes with the seasons. Whatever the weather outside, inside Les Endroits you can be sure of a gourmet feast of dishes from Switzerland and beyond.

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